Caesar looks on from his throne of power,
And he smiles as the people cheer,
But in the arena, a family cowers,
As they farewell each other with final tears.
The wild beasts are loosed, mad with fright,
A family embraces with prayers and goodbyes,
As tender flesh tears the animals fight,
And they feed on the bodies of a people despised.
In the dungeon he sits starving and cold,
The inquisitors come to extract a confession,
He's burnt with hot irons though he's feeble and old,
And the tongue screw brings agony too great to mention.
Hooks are shoved through his soft fleshy parts,
Then ripped out by force again and again,
The whip and the rack strike fear to his heart,
But he holds on to Jesus in his hours of pain.
Chained to the stake for heresies spoke,
She looks upon the pharisees bound to their law,
Yet she still feels compassion for their terrible yolk,
But as she prays for their souls they hate her the more.
The fire is lit but the wood's damp and green,
In anguish she struggles unable to die,
Held up out of the flames, no mercy is seen,
For preaching the Bible she's roasted alive.
A township of folks who believe on the Word,
Go about their business in peace,
Then breaking the stillness a warcry is heard,
And upon them the wrath of the world is released.
The women are raped then impaled on stakes,
The men are gutted and dragged through the streets,
Soldiers club children and laugh as bones break,
And a people once persecuted now sit at their Lord's feet.
A bullet is fired and it cuts through the air,
It impacts flesh with a thud,
Death strikes down the man who would dare,
Spread the message of redeeming blood.
Violent rioters target the church,
God's children are beaten and killed,
Troubles go where they go, they don't have to search,
With trials and pain their cups are filled.
And we must ask ourselves, "Where would we stand,
If we had to die for our faith",
Would you suffer and die for the Lord's promised land,
Or run away and hide in disgrace.
But the days are upon us, the time is near,
When the pleas of the Martyrs are heard,
The Father of Lights will wipe away every tear,
And his vengeance will be true to his Word.
Oh how we groan and moan about the petty problems that haunt us in day to day life. I know just as well as anyone that when the car breaks down or when the money just wont cover the bills, we wonder if God has forgotten us and try to find out what we have done to deserve this punishment. But when you put these problems on the slab and dissect them for autopsy, they really are nothing. There are people being tortured and killed in the world today for the crime of being Christian, for the crime of being different. In places like the Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, India and China believers are being bashed, burned, shot, stabbed, dragged behind moving vehicles and whipped publicly for their faith. And if they live through their ordeals they are being imprisoned in slave labour camps or exiled. But it has been this way since the Lord ascended and it was meant to be this way. The coals are being heaped on the heads of the unbelievers by their very own actions against God's children. But don't take comfort in the knowledge that this is happening in far away places, for the day is coming sooner than you realise, when this persecution will be happening on our very own doorsteps. And you like me, need to ask ourselves if we are up to the challenge. Will we be able to drink from the same cup as Jesus? Or will we find it all too hard and hide away from it, or even deny our God to save our skins. God forbid. It pays for us to remember the Lord's words in Luke 12:4-5. "Fear not him who kills the body and can do nothing else, but fear him who can kill the body and after has power to cast into Hell, I say to you, fear him."